I have a simple template in emacs org-mode:



Phone no: 

Billed amount: 


\end {flushright}


I export the document to PDF and print it. I create multiple such documents in a day.

I want to capture the information to table as below for final accounting with a single keystroke:

| Name | Billed amount |

Note: I don’t want to parse multiple files in one go but do this for one file at a time.

Is this possible?

  • How do you get the phone number?
    – NickD
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:11
  • Manual entry on template. I just want to avoid duplicating work.
    – Vaibhav
    Aug 2, 2018 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


Here's a bare-bones implementation. It uses a template file in the current directory called template.org and substitutes name, phone, amount into placeholders in the template (%NAME%, %PHONE%, %AMOUNT% resp.) It then saves the resulting org-mode file in /tmp/munged-name.org where the munged-name is just the name variable with spaces replaced by dashes. It then runs the org-latex-export-to-pdf function to process the file to PDF (in /tmp/munged-name.pdf). The function is bound to F10 z (i.e. function key F10 followed by letter z) although you can bind it to whatever you want - see the code for details.

The lisp code:

(defun fill-template-and-export (name phone amt)
  (interactive "sName: \nsPhone: \nsAmount: ")
    (insert-file-contents "template.org")
       (while (re-search-forward "%NAME%" nil t)
         (replace-match name)))
       (while (re-search-forward "%PHONE%" nil t)
         (replace-match phone)))
    (while (re-search-forward "%AMOUNT%" nil t)
      (replace-match amt))
    (write-file (format "/tmp/%s.org" (replace-regexp-in-string " " "-" name)))

;;; define the function key F10 as a prefix key
(setq f10-keymap (make-sparse-keymap))
(define-key global-map [f10] f10-keymap)

;;; F10 z calls the function above
(define-key f10-keymap "z" 'fill-template-and-export)

The template file:

 #+OPTIONS: toc:nil num:nil
 #+LATEX_HEADER: \setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

 * Invoice

 Name: %NAME%\\

 Phone: %PHONE%\\

 Amount: %AMOUNT%\\

 Dear Sir/Madam:

 We would appreciate your immediate attention to this invoice.


 A.U. Thor

You can of course tweak it if you don't like the design decisions I made.

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